President Obama was asked at his press conference today if he thinks Edward Snowden is a patriot, and he said, “No I don’t think he’s a patriot.”
The president said, “The fact is Mr, Snowden has been charged with three felonies.” Obama said If Snowden thinks what he did was right, he should get a lawyer, come here, and make his case. The president pointed out that he signed an executive order granting intelligence officers whisleblower status, so Snowden didn’t have to do what he did.
The president said, “Our laws specifically prohibit us from surveilling Americans without a warrant.” Obama said that his assumption that there were sufficient checks and balances in the system has been undermined. He said we need to look at what is working what isn’t. Obama added that Snowden’s leaks triggered a much more rapid passionate response than what would have happened if he would have just appointed the review board, but the process would have eventually gotten to the same place.
I think some people on the far left are giving Snowden way too much credit. It is not as if he “exposed” anything that we all didn’t know was already going. In most ways, the Snowden/Greenwald circus has hurt the discussion by taking attention away from the issue. I don’t believe that there is anything patriotic about what Snowden did. A true patriot doesn’t abandon the cause and run to Russia to save his own skin. Patriots don’t put themselves first. Obama pointed out that what Snowden revealed was the prospect that these programs could be abused, not actual abuse of the programs.
I think more transparency is a wonderful idea, but do you what’s even better than transparency? Getting rid of the Patriot Act.
It’s too bad Comrade Snowden decided to save his own skin instead standing with his fellow citizens when the heavy lifting is just about to start.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association